Friday, June 28, 2013

Is Kyle Petty Saying What Everyone Thinks About Danica Patrick?

Kyle Petty is no Richard Petty, but on Friday he called out Danica Patrick by characterizing her results racing on NASCAR's biggest stage, the Sprint Cup.
Kyle Petty
“Danica has been the perfect example of somebody who can qualify better than what she runs. She can go fast, but she can’t race. I think she’s come a long way, but she’s still not a race car driver. And I don’t think she’s ever going to be a race car driver.”
That was Petty's assessment of Patrick's performance during her short tenure in NASCAR. In her first year, 2012, Patrick raced in less than a third of the 36 races. She never won a race, finish in the top 5 or top ten. Patrick didn't lead one lap. The leader, Jimmie Johnson, lead races for 1744 laps. Patrick ran in a total of 3115 laps. The leader in that same catagory ran in nearly three times as many laps. (10,406) Patrick finished the season ranked 62nd out of 80 drivers, and was ineligible for Sprint Cup points.
Danica Patrick

She's doing a little better this year. On average she's finishing almost six spots higher (25.8) than she starts. (32nd) Patrick has earned one top ten and one pole position. But in defending herself, Patrick seemed to downplay the benefits of qualifying.
Partick in Japan
"Those who watch know I can't qualify for crap. The race goes much better."Averaging 25th place isn't something Patrick should putting upon Pinterest. The fact is Patrick wasn't much better racing open wheel cars in the IRL. In seven years, she had just seven podiums, 3 poles and one win. The one thing she did do plays right into Petty's point, that Patrick's doing a better job of marketing than racing. Patrick missed only three races out of 115 in seven years, and only failed to finish thirteen times, but only got a champagne bath one time. But her car's sponsor, Go Daddy, and Motorola, or whomever her sponsor was, circled the track for almost every race, for the whole race. She's running out of races and reasons for not winning, and yet last year Patrick was the fifth highest paid female athlete earning $13 million, just $1 million from racing. Sounds like Petty is right to me!

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